Gili T is tranquil, free of cars and free of pollution. At night, you can actually see the stars! I didn’t even know that many stars existed!
However, there are a few cons to this paradisial island. Liquor should be avoided. Due to the high taxes, liquor is often cut with methanol to prolong the volume. 5 am wake-up calls. If you stay near the port you will be woken up at 5am for Muslim prayer over a loudspeaker. No Bitcoin. That’s right, crytpocurrency is not valid in Indonesia. So no BTC, ETH, XRP or any other.
Other than that, Gili Trawangan is the most tranquil vacation I’ve taken yet!
One way I save money is by taking budget airlines. The tickets are a fraction of the cost and, personally, I could care less about how I get there if it’s the same amount of travel time. However, these airlines don’t allow checked bags and I have since learned to pack light! It doesn’t mean you have to repeat the same outfit every day, it just means you have to plan!
Here’s what I mean:
- Choose 1-2 neutral colors (I chose white)
- Choose 2 complimentary accent colors (I chose teal and red)
- One neutral dress
- One neutralbottom
- One neutral top
These are the basic guidelines. The rest depends on what you own. But the key is to make sure all your items can mix & match. EVERYTHING GOES WITH EVERYTHING!
I packed 6 articles of clothing (bathing suits excluded) and had 7 outfits! I never repeated the same outfit.
Okay, so there are a few options to getting to the islands from Bali.
Option 1– Take the public ferry. It is CHEAP. But it is LONG.
Option 2– Take a fast boat. The port is about 1.5 hr from Bali. Then a 2.5 hr boat ride. It is much faster than the public ferry. For 475,000 IDR (about $35) my friends from Explore Gili Island Travel will pick up and drop off. Not a bad deal! Unless you get seasick, which leads me to option 3.
Option 3– Take a flight into Lombok (usually about $60-75 round) and take a car and boat to Gili. My friends from Gili Island Transfers will pick you up from the airport to take you to your private boat, for about $25/person. The ride is about 1.5hr and the boat ride is only 10 MIN! So if you get seasick, it is a quick ride!
*TIP: Depending on the tide, and option, you may have to get your feet wet. Literally. Just to get onto the boat. So maybe wear something you can roll up or tie up so you don’t get your clothes wet.
One GREAT thing about the Gili’s, they do not have motorized vehicles. You can rent a bike or take a horse-and-buggy. Yup! A horse-and-buggy! This may sound inconvenient, but trust me! You will appreciate the lack of pollution and noise!
Wow! There are so many beautiful, and cheap, accommodations! Five star resorts ranging from $60-100/night. Almost all of them include breakfast when you book on Booking.com.
Our favorite… Oceano Jambuluwuk Resort. It was peaceful, the staff was SO nice and pleasant. We stayed here for 6 nights at about $125/person for our entire stay!
Book your room at Oceano Jambuluwuk Resort! You’ll love it!
- Go underwater!!! The Gili’s are surrounded by beautiful coral and underwater life! Everything from Nemo, to turtles… even SHARKS! But don’t worry, they don’t bite. If diving is your thing, there are TONS of schools to get certified!
We chose to snorkel because I’m actually terrified of the ocean floor. But with the absolutely GORGEOUS, crystal, clear water… I felt safe with snorkeling. Our gear (masks, fins and vests) cost 200,000/for 3 ppl. This was the best deal we could find. Also, make sure to ask about the turtles! The bale travels around the islands, so depending on the time of day, they could be in a different location. ASK so you know where to go!
- Enjoy the sunsets! There are so many cool bars/restaurants that offer lounge chairs and bean bags to relax in while you sip on your drink-of-choice and watch the sun vanish into the water. The views are STUNNING!
- Ride a horse on the beach!
- Watch a movie on the beach! We actually saw “The Beach” on the beach! There are a few options for this activity, but we went to Le Pirate on the North side of the island. They play a movie every other night. You can sit in your bean bag, sip on some wine, and enjoy your movie in the sand and under the stars!
STUFF YOUR FACE:
I will be honest… the food on the island was disappointing. If you want Indonesian food, Ubud is a better choice. Every restaurant served pizza, sandwiches and burgers! I was expecting Nasi and Satay everywhere, but that wasn’t the case. BUT, we did stumble upon a couple of gems!
The food was absolutely delicious! I actually enjoy healthy, quality food… and Fat Cat’s supplied it! The veggie platter and hummus was my favorite! And the homemade rosemary pita bread!!! Outstanding! It was so good, we ate here TWICE!
Jali Kitchen is a little hidden, but worth the venture. I had the Beef Stuffed Betel Leaves and Grilled Pork & Spring Roll Salad. Both were SCRUMPTIOUS! This is the place to get Indonesian food!
Overall, all our meals were no more than $30 (drinks included) for the entire table!
PIT: On the way home (at Lombok airport), I gave my mother her passport. I typically hold all the passports and tickets, but that day I was hoping she could handle the task. These days she never brings a purse with her anymore, and it is difficult for her to keep up with items. ANYWAY, we were just about to board and I asked where her passport was. She had no idea. I kinda lost my temper with her, and she got upset. It broke my heart! But I could not believe that we were about to board, and she lost her passport! Luckily, a nice man noticed our panic and said he thought he saw it on a chair in the waiting area. It was!
I still get mad at myself for upsetting my mom. I know it is the disease (Alzheimer’s) but sometimes its hard for me to accept the “new” mom I have. And in that moment, I got frustrated when it’s not her choice. So, this was a HUGE pit.
PEAK: Gili T was the MOST relaxed vacation I’ve ever taken. The Island is so peaceful and quiet. It sounds crazy but we slept A LOT! My mom has trouble sleeping, but on this vacation, it seems like its all we did… and it felt amazing! haha
What about you guys?! Do you prefer a relaxing vacation or adventure packed? Leave your answer below!